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Madden NFL 08 Review (PS3)

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Madden NFL 08 (PS3)

Madden NFL 08 (PS3)

© EA Sports

The Bottom Line

Finally a next-gen Madden worth playing. Last year’s gimped release was a drag, to say the least. This year not only is the PS3 version full-featured, it also has some key improvements that affect gameplay and management. I was tempted to sit out Madden this year and run with 2K Sports’ All-Pro Football, but now I’ll just have to split my time between the two, as Madden came to play this year.
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Pros

  • "Read and React" feature is a hit
  • More difficult and more satisfying
  • Franchise mode has more depth

Cons

  • Good animation, but still not next-gen enough
  • Perhaps too hard for casual gamers
  • It kills me to admit it, but the Xbox 360 version does run smoother.

Description

  • Graphics: 3 Come on EA, dump some cash and be the first to deliver a true next-gen looking sports title
  • Sound: 4.5 Superb as always: great music, great commentary, great game sounds
  • Control: 3.5 I’m simply not the biggest Madden control fan, offense and defense should have more similar button mapping
  • Difficulty: 4 This year Madden is tougher than ever, you feel like you truly earned your wins
  • Gameplay: 4 The addition of "Read and React" and tougher defense make this a more fun game
  • Multiplayer: 3 It's always been fine, but no major innovations
  • Online: 2.5 I really expect more online modes and options from a AAA title
  • Documentation: 4 From in-game tutorials to the detailed manual, you’ll be just fine
  • Rated: Everyone it’s America’s sport, how could it not be?
  • All scores are out of 5. Final score is not an average of the individual score

Guide Review - Madden NFL 08 Review (PS3)

Madden is finally fully equipped on the PS3. With new gameplay and management options, Madden is in rare form. It's not perfect, but it's the best we've seen on the system.

This year’s big treat was the weapons system. We’ve seen something similar in basketball games of the past. Players have icons or tokens assigned to them that represent skill in certain areas. What we haven’t seen is it offered at this depth. One is not merely blessed with a “wide receiver” token, he can be a big one, a fast one, a finesse player, etc. This allows for the rock-paper-scissors match-ups that some gamers really seem to love.

As if the new “Read and React” system wasn’t enough, EA decided to not only overhaul gameplay but the franchise mode as well. The new Front Office Mode goes beyond staff and player management to stadium building. From scouting reports to finance management, there is plenty to do in the off season.

One weakness with Madden has been the control scheme. This year it is even more complicated and less intuitive. While the variety of new pre-snap options is grand, especially for defense, the learning curve is unnecessarily steep.

Online we still have ranked and unranked head to head, but when are we going to get a serious league going? If any game is suited to league play, it’s Madden. In 2008, with online capabilities built into every PS3, I’d think that this would be a priority, but alas it isn’t.

One final note, while Madden on the PS3 is a fine game, it simply runs smoother on the Xbox 360. Being that the PS3 is the more powerful of the two machines it seems more political than technical that the Madden NFL 08 would run at twice the frame rate on the Xbox 360. Madden looks and plays fine on the PS3, but side by side, the Xbox 360 version simply runs better.

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